Is the hotel a part of the overall travel experience for you, or is it just a place to sleep and stash your stuff? I used to think the hotel, hostel, B&B, whatever, was no big deal, but then I married a man who likes to stay in nice hotels. That’s when my whole life changed! I’ve come to appreciate the attention to detail, the customer service, and the romance that comes with choosing the right hotel. If you’re looking for a romantic place to go with your honey this year, here are the best ones we’ve experienced from all over the world!
Royal Hawaiian, O’ahu, Hawaii
It’s a pink palace with “royal” right in the name! This historic hotel right on Waikiki Beach is one of the most beautiful, most iconic places in Hawaii. They do a luau, they give a tour (for guests and non-guests alike!), they have hot pink chairs and umbrellas around the adults-only pool. We truly felt papmered in our gorgeous room inside the historic section of the hotel.
As an added bonus, we both loved that the wood trim and historic features truly gave us the feeling we were in Hawaii–not a sterile hotel room that could be just anywhere (a sense we got at the nearby historic Moana Surfrider Hotel). When you come, get the pink pancakes for breakfast, take a surf lesson, and spend some one-on-one time making memories with the one you love!
Get all the details: Staying at the Royal Hawaiian: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Sacher, Salzburg and Vienna, Austria
Steve and I have stayed at both Hotel Sacher Vienna and Hotel Sacher Salzburg, and we have been endlessly impressed with the hotel brand. The staff truly go above and beyond to welcome guests from check-in to check-out. The location in either city is the best. The service is thoughtful and friendly. It’s the perfect place for a couple who wants some alone time.
Upon arrival, we had fresh fruit and individual-sized Sacher Tortes (the hotel’s namesake sweet) waiting for us in our room. The toiletries were chocolate-scented. The soaker tub was big enough for two. The turn-down service included slippers placed at the bedside and a chocolate on the pillow. The spa was incredible. They serve coffee and multiple kinds of cake (including Sacher Torte) in the lobby for breakfast! We can’t say enough good things.
La Corte di Giulietta, Verona, Italy
Valentine’s Day in the hometown of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? It’s a sure winner. Sharing a courtyard with Juliet’s balcony and her likeness? That’ll earn you extra points! I loved everything about Verona, from the food to the museums to the history and then some. When I saw that La Corte di Giulietta (The Courtyard of Juliet) had a room available over Valentine’s Day weekend, I immediately looked at Steve–conveniently sitting next to me–and told him that was what I wanted for Valentine’s Day.
It’s still one of the best Valentine’s gifts I can imagine. We used points to fly all the way there in Business Class, we went to every museum for half price (buy-one-get-one free tickets were available to couples!), and we received a red, heart-shaped, mirror-glazed cake from the hotel’s management. It couldn’t have been more romantic or more fun!
The Ultimate in Romance: Staying at La Corte di Giulietta for Valentine’s Day
Hotel Schlossle, Tallinn, Estonia
The Baltic countries, including Estonia, were not even on my radar. My husband wanted to go there, so we did. We took a Lux Bus (as in luxury) from Riga, Latvia, to Tallinn, Estonia, for my birthday, and we stayed at Hotel Schlossle, which literally translates to Hotel Castle! We even got to walk up a spiral stone staircase from the 13th century to get to our room, in true castle fashion.
But the most charming part was not the included order-off-the-menu breakfast, not the garden in the courtyard, not even the stone fireplace in the lobby. The real charm was in the attention to detail. When we checked in, we had to show our passports, as is the usual practice in European hotels. When the front desk attendant was looking at the photocopy later in the day, she noticed we were checking in on my birthday. And she took it upon herself to bring up a little tart for me! The best hotels are the ones that employ thoughtful, kind people.
Read on: 10 Reasons to Visit Tallinn
Hanalei Colony Resort, Kaua’i, Hawaii
There is almost no more romantic location than Hanalei, Kaua’i. Nestled between soft, green mountains and the bluest water you’ve ever seen, the little town of Hanalei is secluded in the best possible way. And the Hanalei Colony Resort, with its lack of TVs and phones, is the perfect getaway for the couple who truly wants to get away.
You read that right, no TV, no phone. They do have wi-fi, though, so don’t worry! But overall, this is a place to truly unplug and reconnect with the person you came with. It’s the opportunity every couple needs. Take a walk on the beach, get a coffee at their onsite coffee shop, eat the complimentary cookies on your lanai overlooking the ocean. And then snuggle up on the couch!
Keep reading: What It’s Like Staying at Hanalei Colony Resort
Waimea Plantation Cottages, Kaua’i, Hawaii
For the adventurous couple, the Waimea Plantation Cottages is the perfect place to base yourselves on a trip to Kaua’i. The cottages on the property are historic plantation cottages from all over the island, brought here to be refurbished and used as accommodations. You and your loved one will have your own cottage, all to yourself, and if yours is like ours, there will be a large lanai where you can enjoy Hawaiian coffee and the sound of the waves each morning.
The location is close to Kaua’i Coffee Plantation, Waimea Canyon, Koke’e State Park, and more adventures. But the best part is coming back here to relax in one of these cozy cottages at the end of the day. We loved how secluded we felt, yet how close we were to everything we wanted to see!
More here: Staying at Waimea Plantation Cottages
Casa Morada, Islamorada, Florida
Staying here was one of the most romantic things we’ve ever done! We had breakfast delivered to our back patio every morning. Kayaks and paddleboards were included in our stay, as were beach cruiser bikes to ride into town. And did I mention the pool, the yoga sessions, and the manatee sightings? It was enchanting.
With the exception of 2020, we make sure to spend our wedding anniversary on an island, and this was the perfect place to spend our seventh. It was epic. It was romantic. We can’t wait to go back to this adults-only resort, tucked away in the Florida Keys!
Sofitel Overwater Bungalow, Mo’orea, French Polynesia
This is a splurge item–no doubt about it. But if you’re looking for that special, once-in-a-lifetime, worth-the-money, romantic experience, this is the pinnacle! We stayed in an overwater bungalow at the Sofitel on Mo’orea recently, and it was well worth our while. Despite the pandemic, despite it being the rainy season, despite the spotty wi-fi, we both claim this as one of the best travel experiences we’ve ever had, either in our solo travels or together.
We loved walking out to our bungalow on the wooden pathway. We loved seeing the rain coming our way, then hearing it fall on the water all around us. We loved snorkeling and swimming right from our own bungalow. We loved feeling like we had the whole place to ourselves. It was truly romantic, and just as importantly: It was worth doing together.
Get your sneak peek: Staying in an Overwater Bungalow: Sofitel Kia Ora Mo’orea
and What to Know Before You Book an Overwater Bungalow
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